Labourer load flour bags from a warehouse – File photo by APP
Labourer loads flour bags from a warehouse – File photo by APP

KARACHI: Flour mills have started reducing prices in view of persistent fall in wheat rates in the open market after a robust new crop.

However, the cut does not reflect the sharp decline in the price of wheat.

At the retail level, flour varieties are generally selling at old rates despite a substantial fall in wheat prices.

Bread manufacturers too, who had raised prices in January this year citing hike in flour prices, are yet to announce a price cut after its downward revision.

The rates of nan, sheermal, taftan and kulcha have also not been lowered by the restaurant and hotel owners.

Atta No 2.5 and chakki flour still sells at Rs40 and Rs45-47 per kg depending on quality in many areas while the price of 10kg fine flour hovers between Rs420 and Rs440.

The 100kg wheat bag which was available at Rs3,400 to 3,500 in January, is now quoted at Rs2,850 or Rs2,900 in the open market.

Sources said that the millers adopt a ‘go slow’ in decreasing prices while they jack up prices instantly in case wheat price makes any upward move.

“We have reduced the price of flour No 2.5 to Rs36 from Rs38 per kg a day back after one-and-a-half month,” said chairman, Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) Sindh Zone, Chaudhry Ansar Jawed on Saturday.

The price of fine flour has been reduced by Rs2.50 per kg and it is now priced at Rs37.50 per kg.

“Flour price may remain stable for next two to three months due to new crop arrival from Sindh,” he expressed the hope.

Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association chairman Anis Majeed anticipated further fall in the flour price by Re1 to Rs2 per kg in view of frequent arrival of new wheat in the open market and possibility of a further cut in wheat price.

If new government announces a policy and ensures price monitoring, flour rate would definitely remain stable for the next one year, he said.

He said Pakistan’s yearly wheat consumption is estimated at 22m tonnes out of this year’s anticipated good wheat crop size of 26m tonnes.

He added that though in low volume, wheat is still being exported from last year’s crop.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), wheat exports fell by 55.4pc and 55pc in quantity and value to 139,544 tonnes ($43.4m) in July-February 2012-2013 as compared to 313,325 tonnes ($96.3m) in 2011-2012.

Small flour mills said that they have started supplying chakki flour to retailers at Rs40 per kg for the last couple of days as against its earlier price of Rs42 per kg.

For the last three months, chakki flour at mills stage was priced at Rs44-45 per kg. It means that chakki owners have reduced four to five rupees.

A chakki owner said retailers should immediately pass on the benefit to consumers. Chakki flour should not exceed Rs41 per kg in retail, he added.

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